We originally had a much bigger book in mind for the Covert Ops rulebook. Much of it has been reduced, streamlined, or removed entirely as a direct result of play testing. Some of it was just too cool or too difficult to part with; most of that is in the GM's Operations Manual. Covert Ops is a lite role-playing game. Some folks define “lite” differently than we do, but in our opinion page count has at least something to do with it. So that’s why we decided to create this separate book. We hope it helps you become a better Game Master… or entertains you at least. It is packed full of modular optional rules, detailed step-by-step examples, clarifications, GM advice, and even a fun lexicon of espionage terms to help you learn the lingo.
Guidelines to help you arbitrate Operative Creation, along with a detailed example to use as a reference when clarity is needed.
An optional rule for prioritized ability score determination to help build the operative.
An optional rule for operative training centers to say where your operative trained to become an agent and what perks he gets for it.
Optional tables to round out an operative to determine his gender, handedness, age, height, weight, even hair and eye color.
An optional rule that provides an alternative to using origins.
Guidelines on how to create new skills, if the ten that come in the core rulebook aren't enough for you. Included is a full example, the merchant skill, who knows markets, product quality, and haggling like no other.
Optional guidelines to using cash instead of equipment allowance in your campaign. This is allow for campaigns where operatives aren't part of some central organization.
An optional rule for determining and testing loyalties, as a replacement for or as an addition to the moral code rules provided in the core rule book.
Guidelines on adding to the martial arts system in case your campaign focuses more on the cinematic ninja/kung-fu genre.
A powerful optional system allowing operatives to have "strings" they can pull to pull off amazing things like gaining access to spy satellite data, manipulating internet and data grid information, enacting a quarantine in a city or a no-fly zone over a state.
Optional rules for using initiative cards instead of initiative dice.
Optional rules for hit locations in combat, where skill grants you a clear advantage by keeping hits closer to the kill zone.
Optional rules for using condition cards.
Guidelines for moderating risky social interaction situations, such as bribery, charm, deception, interrogation, intimidation, persuasion, and seduction.
Rules for variant ammunition types, as well as how to model real-world firearms instead of using the firearm classifications found in the core rulebook. Included are six examples of modelling real-world pistols.
Several step-by-step examples: game play, enemy organization generation, master villain generation, even mission generation. Even if you don't need the clarification, these are good reads and might spur your creativity.
Some helpful GM advice on storytelling techniques, focus on the story and the mission and its characters, as well as a list of common espionage tropes to sprinkle into your games to give the players familiar thematic elements they've likely seen in their favorite modern action/espionage movies.